Last week, AT&T received approval from the city’s planning committee to build a 150-foot tower downtown. Now, Attorney Jim Rasor has filed a lawsuit against the city, county, and planning commission to block the carrier from building the tower across the street from his law office, reported the Royal Oak Tribune.
Rasor is also seeking a restraining order in Oakland County Circuit Court to stop any further action on the tower until the suit is settled.
“This is an ill-considered decision, and I’ve got to challenge it,” Rasor said of the tower. “These towers in urban areas affect real estate property values like Kryptonite affects Superman.” Rasor estimates that the tower will devalue his property by $250,000.
AT&T proposed the tower’s location since a nearby, 150-foot tower will be torn down to make room for a park. The planned tower will enable police to have access to high-quality radio coverage in the downtown area.
According to Patricia Coates, 911 coordinator for the county system, the density of buildings in Royal Oak’s downtown requires a stronger signal for police radios to function in that area. Although various locations were scouted, Coates said they would not perform as well for police communications like the one proposed by AT&T.
If the tower is constructed, AT&T will retain ownership and rent space to carriers. According to Rasor, AT&T will make about $166,000 per year on leases. “Oakland County has a duty to go through a bidding process for services and goods,” he said. “They failed to do that with the AT&T tower and handed them a lucrative contract.”
November 22, 2019
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